Six current-day ghost hunters set out to find the truth in the murder legend of Vinney Keller, a naïve teenager who was found dead in her farmhouse cellar in 1903. Historical opinion places the blame on the Keller’s hired hand: Enos Patchett, a lumbering, illiterate man in his 40s, who was with the Keller family for years. But there were other suspects as well. The ghost hunters hope to contact Vinney’s spirit to find out the real story. But for some of the hunters, truth is secondary to hyping their methods and results to increase their media popularity and TV opportunities. Soon the hunters find themselves mired in miscommunication between the living and the dead, the literal ghosts of the past who are determined to set the story straight.
With Laura Mazzuca Toops
What inspired you to write this play?
The idea for Crossing Over came to me after I moved into an 1888 farmhouse. The son of the original family died young and sometimes makes his presence known. I was intrigued by the idea of the dead and the living coexisting in a shared space, mostly unaware of each other, but sometimes interacting -- and what would happen when they finally connected.
What's your favorite part or line in the play? Why?
I like the dynamic between the two teenaged girls -- Katie (a living girl) and Vinney (a ghost) – and how they manage to strike up an unlikely friendship that transcends time and space.
Where did the characters come from? Are they based on people you know?
The idea for Crossing Over came from my own experiences as a “ghost hunter” and my long-time love of all things paranormal. I’ve always been amused by the different “types” that seem to gravitate to ghost hunting – the tech nerds, the self-proclaimed “super psychics,” the dabblers, and the skeptics. I always thought that some of their histrionics wouldn’t attract ghosts so much as annoy them.
What did you try to achieve with this play?
I wanted to illustrate the absurd dichotomy between reality TV paranormal shows and the lives of the real people they were trying to contact – and how sometimes “real life is a lot more boring” than the dramatic reenactments make it seem.
Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
After more than 40 years as a writer of fact and fiction, I discovered playwriting after becoming involved in community theater. It’s allowed me to finally find my true voice. Crossing Over is the result of two stage productions and lots of input from actors, writers, editors, and others. Theater is truly collaborative!